Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek
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Can a husband get alimony in Virginia?
If you are a husband filing for divorce and need support from your spouse to pay for your basic monthly needs, you need to understand when you are eligible for alimony and the factors the judge will consider if they agree to award you spousal support. You should also retain an experienced family law attorney to file your divorce and protect your rights.
When Is a Spouse Eligible for Spousal Support?
In Virginia, a husband or wife can be eligible for alimony if they can show they have a financial need for it and that their spouse can provide financial support to them. However, they would be ineligible for spousal support if they committed adultery.
Spouses may be awarded temporary alimony during the divorce. When the divorce is finalized, they could be awarded rehabilitative or permanent alimony. Temporary alimony is often awarded if a husband or wife left their job to take care of their family. A husband or wife would only be entitled to permanent alimony if they can show that they cannot obtain employment due to their age, disability, or long-term absence from the job market.
What Factors Are Considered in Awarding Alimony in Virginia?
The judge will consider many factors in deciding whether to grant a request for spousal support, how long the alimony should be paid, and the payment amount. Factors considered include the following:
- The financial needs, obligations, and financial resources of both spouses
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living the spouses maintained while they were married
- The health, age, and mental condition of both spouses and any special circumstances they or children of the marriage face
- Financial and nonmonetary contributions of both partners during the marriage
- Husband’s and wife’s financial assets
- Opportunity and ability of the spouse requesting alimony to receive training or education to increase their ability to support themselves and their current employability
Are you a husband planning to file for divorce? Do you have questions about your right to spousal support in Virginia? Our compassionate family law attorneys can answer your questions and will fight for your rights in your divorce. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial, no-obligation consultation today.
Is there a leash law in Virginia?
Does Norfolk Have a Leash Law?
Yes, there is a leash ordinance in Norfolk. It is unlawful for an owner or person in control of a dog to allow the dog to be at large within city limits. A dog is considered at large if they are roaming, running, flying, or self-hunting off the owner’s property when not leashed or secured in an animal carrier. A first violation of this law is a Class 4 misdemeanor.
Does Virginia Beach Have a Leash Law?
Virginia Beach also has a law that requires dogs to be on a leash in public in most circumstances. Under the rule, it is unlawful for an owner or custodian of a dog to allow the dog to go on a park, public street, sidewalk, or right-of-way without being leashed. However, dogs are permitted to run free without being on a leash at designated parks, such as:
- Bayville Farms Park
- Red Wing Park
- Salem Woods Park
- Marshview Park
What Happens if a Dog Bites Someone When Not on a Leash?
Under Virginia’s dog bite laws, a dog bite victim must prove that the dog bit someone in the past or that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous to be entitled to compensation for their injuries. However, if the dog was not on a leash as required by a local ordinance, the victim may have a claim against the dog’s owner or custodian based on their negligence in allowing the animal to roam unleashed.
Did you suffer injuries from a dog bite in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced premises liability lawyers can explain your options and can go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve under Virginia Law. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
How much insurance coverage must a truck driver have in Virginia?
How Much Insurance Coverage Must a Trucker in Virginia Have?
Truck drivers must carry a certain amount of liability insurance coverage under Virginia and federal law. Here are the amounts they are required to have intrastate under Virginia Code §46.2143-1:
- For a truck having a gross weight over 7,500 pounds, the trucker must carry at least $300,000 in liability insurance.
- If the truck has a gross weight in excess of 10,000 pounds, the truck driver must have a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage.
If a trucker drives interstate, they must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules regarding how much insurance coverage is required. The minimum insurance coverage they must carry is:
- They must have at least $300,000 in liability coverage if the truck’s weight is less than 10,000 pounds or $750,000 in liability coverage if the truck’s gross weight is more than 10,000 pounds when they are transporting nonhazardous materials.
- If carrying hazardous materials, they must carry at least $5,000,000 in insurance coverage.
Why Do You Need to Know How Much Insurance Coverage the Truck Driver Has?
It is always crucial to know how much insurance coverage the truck driver and any other liable parties, such as the trucking company, shipper, and trailer owner, have so that you know how much money there is to compensate you for your injuries. You should never settle your claim until you find out how much insurance coverage there is and consult with a skilled truck accident lawyer about the settlement offer.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck crash that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced truck accident attorneys can collect the evidence you need to win your case, find out the insurance coverages for all liable parties, and fight so that you obtain the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can assist you.
Is it illegal to drive while wearing earbuds or headphones in Virginia?
Yes, driving while wearing earbuds or headphones in Virginia is illegal. Unfortunately, more drivers on the roads and highways in Virginia Beach and Norfolk are using them to listen to music or podcasts while driving. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a motorist using earbuds or headphones, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you can prove their negligence caused your crash.
Virginia’s Ban on Earbuds While Driving
Under Virginia Code §46.2-1078, operating a motor vehicle, bicycle, electric bike, moped, or electric personal mobility device is illegal while using earphones on or in both ears. Earphones are defined as any device worn on or in both ears that convert electric energy to sound and limits a person’s ability to hear. Exceptions, when earbuds or headphones are permitted, include the following:
- A motorist is wearing a prosthetic device to assist with hearing.
- The driver is operating an emergency vehicle.
- The earphones are installed in a motorcycle helmet to be used as part of a communication system by motorcycle riders.
- The driver is using an open-back, closed-ear, noise-canceling device in high-noise areas and is operating a vehicle weighing 26,000 pounds or more.
Dangers of Driving While Wearing Earbuds or Headphones
Wearing earbuds or headphones is a form of distracted driving that is extremely dangerous. A person wearing them will have their minds off their driving. In addition, many of these devices cancel out noise, preventing a driver from hearing the warning signs before an auto accident occurs.
Were you or a family member injured in a car crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk caused by a driver wearing earbuds or headphones? It may be hard to prove that their negligence caused your crash without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. To learn how we have helped other collision victims like you and about your options for recovering the compensation you deserve, call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Do I have a right to sue someone if I was bitten by a dog?
What Is the Legal Standing to Litigate a Claim?
To have the standing, you must have the legal authority to sue the dog owner and any other negligent parties. If you file a lawsuit without standing, the insurance company will raise this as a defense. The judge could dismiss your case, and you would not be able to pursue your claim for compensation for your injuries.
Who Has Standing to Sue in a Dog Bite Case in Virginia?
You should consult with a knowledgeable dog bite attorney who can advise you on whether you have standing to sue and can file your lawsuit on your behalf. In general, here is who has standing to sue in a dog bite case:
- Individuals over 18 years old. If you are a dog bite victim and are 18 years old or older, you have standing to file a lawsuit against the dog owner and any other negligent parties.
- Minor child. Minor children under 18 years old do not have standing to file a lawsuit in Virginia. However, litigation can be filed through a “next friend.” The “next friend” must be an adult. They are usually the child’s parent or legal guardian.
- Adult with a guardian. If an individual 18 years old or older has a legal guardian, the legal guardian would have the standing to file a dog bite lawsuit for them.
- Deceased individual. If a dog bite victim died due to their injuries, certain family members could file a wrongful death action. The deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren would have standing to sue. However, if they were under 18, their “next friend” would have to file the lawsuit on their behalf.
If you or a family member were bitten by a dog in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our experienced premises liability attorneys can file your claim and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about your rights and how we can assist you.
What are my rights if I verbally accept a settlement offer?
If the insurance company contacts you after a car accident caused by their insured, they may make you a settlement offer immediately. You may accept it but soon realize that the insurance company offered you far less compensation than you deserve under Virginia law.
Fortunately, you may be able to reject a verbal settlement offer. In addition, you have special protections if you signed a written settlement agreement and an experienced car accident lawyer did not represent you.
Your Right to Change Your Mind After Accepting a Verbal Settlement Offer
If you verbally accepted a settlement offer, you most likely can change your mind and revoke your acceptance. The insurance company could try to enforce the verbal agreement, but they would need to show that there was an offer, acceptance, and consideration, or value, given in the offer.
Whether you can cancel the verbal agreement will depend on the facts surrounding your acceptance. The agreement could be enforceable if the insurance company reviewed all the settlement terms in the conversation. However, if they just made an offer to pay you a certain sum without going over the details or told you that you would need to sign a release to complete the settlement, you can most likely change your mind.
You should never settle a claim without first consulting with a skilled car accident lawyer. If you verbally accept an offer and change your mind, you should retain an attorney as soon as possible. It is much more likely that you will be able to revoke a verbal agreement if you do so immediately.
Your Right to Cancel a Written Settlement Within Three Business Days Under Virginia Law
Most car accident settlements are completed in writing. The insurance company usually requires the victim to sign a Release where they agree to accept the settlement offer where they waive their right to pursue their claim in exchange for the payment.
It may be much more difficult or impossible to revoke a written settlement agreement. However, there is an exception to this rule. Under Virginia law, you have a right to cancel your acceptance after signing the release if the following conditions are met:
- You settled your car accident claim within thirty days of the crash without a lawyer.
- You cancel your acceptance in writing within three business days after signing the release.
- You return the payment that the insurance company sent you.
Were you injured in a car crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk caused by another driver? Do you need help settling your claim or canceling a verbal settlement agreement? Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to learn about your options and how our dedicated car accident lawyers can aggressively fight for your rights.
Can I take back my guilty plea?
Withdrawing a Guilty Plea Before Sentencing
Under Virginia Code §19.2-296, a motion to withdraw a guilty plea can only be filed pre-sentencing in most cases. However, you would still have to convince the judge that you have good reasons to withdraw your plea before sentencing. Justifications for withdrawing your guilty plea include the following:
- You are acting in good faith and have a defense against the charges you face.
- You made a mistake in pleading guilty.
- You would be prejudiced in your criminal case if you were not allowed to withdraw your plea.
Withdrawing a Guilty Plea After Sentencing
Your ability to withdraw your plea would be severely limited post-sentencing. Under Virginia Code §19.2-296, you must establish that withdrawing your plea is necessary to correct a manifest injustice. This is a hard burden of proof to meet. Ways you might be able to show this include:
- You were not mentally competent to enter your plea.
- You made the plea involuntarily for some reason, such as in response to threats by the prosecutor.
- You have discovered new evidence that helps prove your innocence.
- Your lawyer engaged in misconduct or provided ineffective counsel to you.
Are you facing criminal charges in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Do you want to withdraw a guilty plea? Our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers can explain your defenses and options and mount an aggressive defense strategy to help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or completing our convenient online form to learn more about how we can assist you.
Do I have to go to court for a motorcycle accident?
However, not all claims are settled quickly or easily. If you want to receive the maximum recovery in your settlement, you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to negotiate your settlement and advise you whether it is in your best interests to accept it or litigate your case.
Reasons Your Motorcycle Crash Case Could Go to Trial
There are several reasons you may decide you need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you must take this step, keep in mind that most motorcycle accident lawsuits are settled before the scheduled trial date. Here are common reasons you might need to sue the negligent driver:
- Denial of your claim. To deny your claim, the insurance company could raise disputes, such as that you were the negligent party or that another incident caused your injuries. If your claim is denied, you will need to file a lawsuit.
- Low settlement offer. The insurance could offer you far less compensation than you deserve in your settlement. If they refuse to make you a fair offer, you could decide that litigating your claim is your only option.
- Uncooperative insurance company. Some insurance companies are harder to work with when settling a claim. The insurance adjuster could deny your claim for no legitimate reason or engage in delay tactics, such as not returning calls or requesting unnecessary documents, to wear you down and drag out negotiations.
- Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations to file your lawsuit for the injuries you suffered is two years from the date of your motorcycle wreck. If this deadline is approaching and you have not reached a settlement of your claim, you must file a lawsuit to pursue your right to compensation for your injuries.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys can collect the evidence you need to win your case and go up against the insurance company for the damages you deserve. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn how we can help you.
Can I reject the insurance company’s settlement offer?
You would need the compensation you deserve for your injuries if you were hurt in a premises liability accident in Virginia to pay for your medical expenses, replace your lost wages, and help you move on with your life. However, the insurance company may make you a settlement offer that you do not believe fairly compensates you.
You should never settle your claim without first consulting with an experienced premises liability attorney. You also need to know what your rights are to reject the insurance company’s offer and how to proceed if you decide to turn it down.
Can You Reject the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?
Yes, you have a right to reject a settlement offer. The insurance adjuster may make it sound like it is their only offer. However, this is likely not true, especially if this is the insurance company’s first offer.
Accepting the insurance adjuster’s initial settlement offer is rarely in your best interests. Insurance companies often offer to settle a claim quickly for far less money than a victim deserves to save the company money. You do not want to be taken advantage of like this.
What Are Your Options if You Decide to Reject a Settlement Offer?
It can be difficult not to succumb to the insurance company’s threats and pressures to accept their offer on your own. You should let your lawyer communicate your rejection of their offer to the insurance adjuster. They can also take these steps for you:
- Make a counteroffer. Your attorney will most likely reject the offer in writing. They will outline their liability to compensate you, the seriousness of your injuries, and your damages in a demand letter. Then they will make a counteroffer.
- Negotiate your settlement. The insurance company will most likely reject your first counteroffer. Your lawyer could go through several offers and counteroffers before obtaining a fair settlement. If the insurance company raises disputes, your attorney may need to collect additional evidence and hire expert witnesses to refute their claims.
- File a lawsuit. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, will expire soon, your attorney can file a civil complaint and litigate your case. You will most likely settle your claim before it goes to a jury trial.
If you were injured in a premises liability accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, our dedicated premises liability lawyers can fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What fees will come out of my car accident settlement check?
When settling your car accident claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, you must complete several steps before receiving a check. This includes paying any expenses you owe out of your settlement proceeds. It is best to have an experienced car accident lawyer negotiate your settlement and deduct these expenses from the payment from the insurance company if you want to receive all the compensation you deserve under Virginia law.
Expenses That Will Be Deducted From Your Settlement Proceeds
Your attorney should explain the fees you owe and provide you with an itemization of the charges so you know the amount of your settlement check. Common fees owed in car accident cases include:
- Police report. If your attorney obtained a copy of the police report, they would deduct the cost from your settlement proceeds.
- Medical records. Your attorney will also order your medical records. They may provide them to the insurance company to prove the seriousness of your injuries, the medical treatments you need, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills. You are responsible for reimbursing your lawyer for the cost of obtaining copies of your medical records.
- Medical liens. Your health care providers, health insurance companies, and other agencies may have placed a lien on your settlement to pay for expenses you incurred while you were waiting to settle your claim. These liens will have to be paid out of your settlement before you receive your check.
- Court costs and expenses. Court filing fees, service fees, expert witness fees, and other costs of litigating your claim would be deducted from your process if your attorney fronted these expenses for you.
- Attorney fees. When you retained your lawyer, you agreed to pay them their attorney fees on a contingency fee basis. They will deduct their fees before sending you your check.
If you were injured in an auto collision in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our skilled car accident lawyers can go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Can I represent myself in my slip and fall accident case?
Yes, you have the right to represent yourself when negotiating a slip and fall accident settlement with the insurance company or litigating your case in court in Virginia. However, you would not be making a good decision if you made this choice. You are much more likely to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries if you retain an experienced premises liability accident attorney.
Reasons Why It Would Be a Mistake to Represent Yourself in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
There are many reasons why you should not represent yourself when filing a claim with a negligent business or property owner’s insurance company. Here are the top reasons why hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is in your best interests:
- Preserving evidence. You will need evidence to prove the business or property owner’s negligence caused your fall, the seriousness of your injuries, and the compensation you are entitled to. A lawyer handling slip and fall cases will know what evidence you need and how to obtain it.
- Valuing your claim. You are entitled to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in your settlement with the insurance company. It would be extremely difficult for you to determine your future damages and how much the pain and suffering portion of your claim is worth without the help of an attorney.
- Negotiating your settlement. The insurance adjuster could try to take advantage of you if you try to negotiate your settlement on your own. They could get you to agree to give a recorded statement, provide them with access to all your medical records, or accept a lowball settlement offer. Your lawyer would fight for your rights and have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments to deny, delay, or devalue your claim.
- Understanding of the law. Your attorney would understand the Virginia laws that apply to your case, including the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to file your lawsuit.
- Litigating your case. It would be very challenging to represent yourself if you had to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. A lawyer would know the laws and court procedures that must be followed and how to try your case at a jury trial if necessary.
Do you need to file a claim for injuries you suffered in a slip and fall accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated premises liability attorneys will aggressively fight for your right to compensation and are not afraid to take your case to trial if this is in your best interests. To schedule your free initial consultation, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form today.
What happens if a health care provider files a lien in my truck accident case?
Your medical care providers may place a medical lien on your settlement when providing you with the medical care you need while you wait for your settlement. You need to know what a medical lien is and how to deal with them in your case.
What Is a Medical Lien?
In Virginia, you are responsible for paying your medical bills while negotiating your settlement with the insurance company. However, if you are like most truck accident victims, you do not have the financial resources to pay these expensive medical expenses.
Health care providers may agree to treat your injuries and wait to receive their payment until you settle your case if you allow them to place a medical lien on your settlement. The lien would enable them to be paid what they are owed when you receive the settlement check from the insurance company.
The general rule is that health care providers are not entitled to claim a lien against a truck crash settlement in Virginia. However, many exceptions based on federal laws permit a provider to assert a lien.
In addition, a health care provider can enter into a written agreement with you to allow them to assert a lien in your case. You most likely cannot avoid agreeing to this to obtain the medical treatment you need for your injuries. Health care providers who may claim a lien on your settlement include:
- Ambulance services
- Physical therapists
Will the Medical Care Provider Negotiate Their Medical Lien?
Yes, your health care providers may be willing to negotiate a settlement of your medical liens. However, you would be at a serious disadvantage if you tried to work out an agreement on your own.
You should retain a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to negotiate your settlement with the insurance company and the payment of medical liens. A lawyer is likelier to get medical care providers to accept a reduced price. This can save you substantial money and allow you to keep more of your settlement proceeds.
Were you hurt in a truck crash that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Do you need help negotiating a settlement of medical liens with your health care providers? Our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to help. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation today.
What do I need to prove to win my whiplash injury claim?
Whiplash is a common injury caused in Norfolk and Virginia Beach car accidents. Unfortunately, victims often have a difficult time convincing the negligent driver’s insurance company of the seriousness of their injuries. If you suffered a whiplash injury and are filing an insurance claim, you need to know how to prove your case if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What Is Whiplash?
A whiplash injury can occur when a person’s neck is jerked back and forth in an auto collision. It is a soft tissue issue injury. You should be examined by a doctor if you experience any symptoms. Common ones include:
- Pain and tightness in the neck
- Limitations in the range of movement of the neck
- Headaches at the back of the skull
- Shoulder, upper back, or arm tenderness or pain
- Arm numbness
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Memory and concentration problems
What Evidence Is Needed to Prove a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash injury claims are often difficult to prove because the symptoms can take days or longer to develop. In addition, insurance adjusters often view whiplash as a temporary injury that will heal quickly. The reality is that it could take you months or longer to recover from a whiplash injury.
You need to collect strong evidence to prove your case. Types of evidence that can help you win your case include:
- Documentation of accident cause. The police report, eyewitness statements, and photos taken right after the crash can help establish its cause. It can also be essential to show the speed of your vehicle, the point of impact, where you were sitting, how the headrest was positioned, and whether the airbags deployed.
- Medical records. You need strong medical evidence proving that you sought prompt medical care and followed your doctor’s advice on the treatments you need for your injuries. It is crucial that your medical records not show gaps in your medical care or missed doctor or physical therapy appointments.
- Medication records. You should save documentation of the medications you took to manage the pain caused by the whiplash.
- Diagnostic tests. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may help show you suffered whiplash or a spinal injury.
- Documentation of damages. You will need to prove the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills and lost wages. You should save all your medical bills, prescription receipts, and documentation of your lost wages, vacation and sick time, and other perks of your job.
- Expert witnesses. You may need a medical expert to prove that the car crash caused your whiplash and the necessary medical treatments. If you suffered a long-term injury, you might also have to hire an economic expert to calculate your future damages.
Did you suffer whiplash in an auto collision that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? To schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced car accident lawyers, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form.
What happens if my injury worsens after I settle my premises liability claim?
Unfortunately, you may not have any options if you discover that your injuries are more severe than you thought when you settled your premises liability claim. That is one of many reasons you should retain an experienced premises liability lawyer before reaching a settlement with the insurance company.
What Happens If You Have Settled Your Claim Before Discovering Your Injuries Have Gotten Worse?
If you agreed to settle your claim and signed a Release of Claims form, which you would have to sign before the insurance company sent you your check, you would have agreed that your settlement is a final resolution of your claim. You could not reopen your case and file a claim for additional compensation if you later discovered that your injuries had worsened.
When Can You Reopen a Premises Liability Claim?
There are a few situations where you may be able to obtain additional compensation after settling a claim:
- No signed agreement. If you agreed to settle your claim but have not signed the release of claims form, you may be able to get out of your agreement with the insurance company.
- Breach by the insurance company. You may also be able to seek additional compensation if the insurance company failed to perform their obligations to pay you under the terms of your settlement.
- Other liable parties. If there are other liable parties, you may be able to pursue a claim against them. For example, if the business where you fell was renting their commercial space, you may also have a claim against the property owner.
Were you hurt in a premises liability accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated premises liability lawyers can collect the evidence you need to win your case and fight with the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries under Virginia law. Contact our Norfolk office at 757.625.1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.
How soon after a motorcycle accident should I hire an attorney?
Reasons to Contact a Lawyer Soon After Your Motorcycle Crash
Although you may feel you have plenty of time to pursue your claim right after your motorcycle collision, there are many benefits to retaining a skilled motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. They include:
- Gathering evidence quickly. A lawyer will know the types of evidence you need to prove your case and will collect it for you before it disappears. For example, you could be unable to locate helpful witnesses, or their memories could fade if their written statements are not obtained immediately.
- Communicating with the insurance company. If you file your claim on your own, you may make a statement that the insurance adjuster can use against you or agree to do something that hurts your case, such as agreeing to give a recorded statement. Once you hire an attorney, they will take over all communications with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement.
- Being certain you meet deadlines. Your lawyer will ensure that you meet all important deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, to file your lawsuit. If you wait to hire an attorney, you could miss a critical deadline and lose your right to pursue your claim.
Were you injured in a motorcycle collision that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers are here to fight for your rights. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Is the insurance company right when they say I don’t need an attorney to negotiate my settlement?
#1: A Lawyer Knows the Law
A skilled truck accident attorney knows the Virginia laws and federal regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies that apply to your case. They will not accept the insurance company’s misrepresentations about the laws that apply to your case, which they may make to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than you deserve. They will use their knowledge to protect your rights and win your case.
#2: An Attorney Knows How to Value Your Claim
Another reason the insurance adjuster does not want you to hire a lawyer is that they want to try to convince you that their lowball settlement offer is a fair one. However, a lawyer will know the value of your claim and go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery under Virginia law.
#3: A Lawyer Can Prove Your Case
You will need to establish that the trucker and trucking company’s negligence caused your truck crash, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to to be compensated for your injuries. An attorney can collect the evidence you need to prove your case. They will also have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments about why they are not liable to pay you, which you would be unable to do if you try to settle your claim on your own.
#4: An Attorney Is on Your Side
The insurance adjuster knows that you may be vulnerable if you are injured and struggling to pay your medical bills and daily expenses when you are off work with no income. They would take advantage of your vulnerabilities and try to convince you to accept a settlement of far less than you deserve.
If you retain a lawyer, they will be on your side and would be looking out for your best interests. You are much more likely to receive a higher settlement if you are represented by a lawyer—which is why the insurance company does not want you to hire one.
#5: A Lawyer Can Litigate Your Claim
If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to sue, will expire soon, you will need to file a lawsuit against the trucking company and truck driver. An attorney licensed in Virginia can file the complaint and litigate your case for you.
Were you injured in a truck collision in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Call our Norfolk office at 757.625.1214 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how our dedicated truck accident lawyers can assist you.
What could happen if I exaggerate my injuries in a car accident?
Exaggerating your injuries after an auto collision in Virginia is never a good idea. You could make it harder to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
How the Insurance Company Could Discover the Exaggeration of Your Injuries
Before offering you a settlement, the insurance company would investigate your claim. One of their investigation goals would be to search for any information they could use to deny your claim or pay you less than you are entitled to under Virginia.
They would most likely discover your exaggerations about your injuries during their investigation. Here are three ways they could discover this:
- Surveillance. The insurance company could hire a private investigator to engage in surveillance multiple times while your claim is being settled. The investigator could follow you, stake out your house, and take photographs of you doing activities you could not do if you were as hurt as you claim. If you are exaggerating how serious your injuries are, they will discover this when they spy on you.
- Social media. The insurance adjuster could also search your social media accounts for statements you make about your injuries and for posts about activities you are engaged in that you could not do if you were really hurt as much as you claim.
- Medical records. The insurance company will review all your medical records and look for inconsistencies in how you describe your injuries and your pain level to what your medical records show.
How Not Being Truthful About Your Injuries Could Hurt Your Claim
Exaggerating the severity of your injuries is always a bad idea. Here are ways this could weaken your claim:
- Your credibility. If the insurance company finds out you were not truthful about your injuries, this will weaken your credibility as a witness. They may question other statements you made, such as the cause of the car accident.
- Compensation. You may exaggerate your injuries in hopes of obtaining more compensation from the insurance company. However, this strategy could backfire. If the insurance adjuster discovers your exaggerations, it would significantly weaken your case, and you could be forced to accept less money to settle your claim.
- Fraud. Your exaggerations may be considered insurance fraud. This may be grounds for the insurance company to deny your claim or to sue you to recover any damages they paid you.
Were you injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to learn how our experienced car accident attorneys can help you.
What is the difference between a premises liability claim and a lawsuit?
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a premises liability claim and lawsuit are different in Virginia. It is essential to understand their differences, so you know how to best pursue your rights to obtain the compensation you deserve for injuries you suffered in a premises liability accident.
What Is a Claim?
If you were hurt in a premises liability accident, your first step to seek the damages you are entitled to would be to file a claim with the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company. This is an out-of-court process of trying to settle your case.
The best way to file your claim is to retain a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer to file it for you. They would send the insurance company a demand letter explaining their liability to pay you, your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are seeking. The insurance adjuster would investigate your accident and injuries before responding to the demand letter. They would most likely begin by offering you a lowball settlement offer you should not accept. Your attorney and the insurance adjuster could go through a series of offers and counteroffers before your claim is settled.
What Is a Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit involves having your case decided through the court system. You would need to file a civil complaint if the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit is expiring soon, or the insurance company denied your claim or refused to offer you a fair settlement. Here are the basic steps in litigating your case:
- Complaint. Your lawyer would file a complaint explaining your premises liability accident, how the owner’s negligence caused it, your injuries, and the damages requested.
- Answer. After being served with the lawsuit, the home or property owner, referred to as the defendant, would file an answer to it, admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.
- Discovery. Discovery is the phase of your case where the defendant’s attorney and your attorney obtain documents, testimony, and other information from each other and third parties. Common types of discovery include interrogatories, which are written questions to be answered, requests to produce documents, subpoenas for documents or additional information, and depositions.
- Mediation. Some courts require civil cases to go through court-ordered mediation before scheduling a jury trial date. In addition, your lawyer will enter into settlement negotiations with the defendant’s attorney, which would most likely result in a settlement of your case at some point in the litigation process.
- Trial. If your case is not settled, it would be decided at a jury trial.
If you were injured in a premises liability accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas, our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today.
Why won’t my doctor treat me after my truck accident?
Reasons Your Doctor May Not Treat You
It is not uncommon for primary care physicians to refuse to treat injuries caused by a truck accident. Common reasons your doctor may not want to see you include:
- Insurance company. Your doctor may not want to get involved in billing one or more truck insurance companies for payment of their bills. It can be complicated and time-consuming to deal with these insurance companies for payments than a health insurance company.
- Litigation. Your physician may not want to be an expert witness in your case, have to give a deposition, or testify in court if your claim has to be litigated.
- Complicated injuries. Primary care doctors are trained to treat common medical conditions or minor injuries. Your doctor may not have the expertise to treat the severe injuries you could suffer due to the truck collision.
How to Obtain the Medical Care You Need After a Truck Accident
If your doctor refuses to treat you, you will need to find another physician to treat your injuries. Here are some options for getting the medical care you need:
- Get a referral. Your primary care physician may be willing to refer you to a specialist who has experience treating your injuries. Before you schedule an appointment, be sure the specialist accepts truck accident victims.
- Find a doctor. You can also find another physician who treats accident victims’ injuries like yours. They will know what treatments will help you recover and will be able to document the seriousness of your injuries and the medical care you need to help you prove your right to compensation for your injuries.
- Retain a lawyer. Another good option is to hire a knowledgeable truck accident attorney immediately. They will most likely know qualified physicians who accept truck collision victims and who could be an expert witness in your case.
Were you injured in a truck crash that was not your fault in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Is your doctor refusing to treat your injuries? Our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to help. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation to learn about your rights and how we can assist you.
How much will hiring an attorney to handle a pedestrian accident claim cost?
Fortunately, you can afford to retain an experienced car accident lawyer to settle your pedestrian collision claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Most attorneys in Virginia handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. Here is what you need to know about how you would be charged attorney fees in your case.
How Do Contingency Fee Agreements Work?
If your lawyer charges their fees for handling your pedestrian accident claim on a contingency basis, you would not owe any upfront attorney fees. Here is how a contingency fee agreement would work:
- You would only owe attorney fees if your lawyer was able to settle your claim or won your case at a jury trial.
- Your attorney would charge you a percentage of your settlement or judgment as their attorney fees. The typical fee is 33 percent, but it could range from between 20 and 40 percent of your award.
- The attorney fees you owe would be deducted from your settlement or judgment proceeds before you receive your check.
Will You Owe Other Costs and Expenses?
You will also be charged any costs and expenses incurred in your case. These include the costs to obtain medical records and the police report, expert witness fees, court reporter fees for depositions, filing fees, and other costs if your claim must be litigated.
You may have to pay for these expenses upfront, or your attorney could pay them and deduct them from your settlement. Your lawyer should explain how they charge their attorney fees and these expenses at your initial consultation. If you agree to hire them and they agree to take your case, you should sign a retainer agreement stating what you will owe and how the attorney will be paid.
Are There Other Considerations You Should Think About When Deciding on a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
When you are deciding which lawyer to hire to handle your case, their attorney fees should only be one consideration in making your decision. You should also evaluate their experience in handling pedestrian accident claims and their track record of success in settling and litigating these types of cases. You want an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement.
Were you injured in a pedestrian accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation today to learn how we can assist you.